York & North Yorkshire

Traders' fears over Monks Cross stadium plan

Plans for a major shopping and sports stadium on the outskirts of York have gone on public display amid fears by some city centre traders that the development will cost them business.

The scheme would see a large new Marks & Spencer store and a 6,000-seater stadium at Monks Cross.

Shop owner Jean Reeves said it was potentially "devastating".

Developers Oakgate is hosting an exhibition of plans and said it would not comment on the debate.

It will be on hand to answer questions at Courtneys Gym, next door to Huntington Stadium on Friday and at the Hilton Hotel, Tower Street, on Saturday, between 1000 and 1500 BST.

If approved it would become home to York City Football Club and the York City Knights rugby club.

'Unwelcome to York'

Adam Sinclair, chairman of York Chamber of Trade and owner of the Mulberry Hall shop, said the development offered free parking and would pull shoppers out of the city centre.

"Car parking charges [in the city centre] discriminate against shoppers from out of York, which is really rather than welcome to York, is 'unwelcome to York'," he said.

Ms Reeves, who runs the Candle Shop on Stonegate, added: "It's bad enough in a recession, but it would be even worse.

"Monks Cross is thriving at a weekend, but the tourists who come in are not buying in the town centre either."

Other traders have welcomed the plans as an opportunity for the city centre to evolve.

Andrew Nixon, manager of Banks' music shop, said the city centre could become a "Mecca" for specialist retailers.

George Myerscough of Robson and Coopers, which supplies bags and luggage on Lendal, said the business was so well established the new development would not impact on their custom.

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